Won't hike this trail again. No shade. Lots of sugar sand. I didn't care for how this trail is marked. At one point you come to a fork with no directional sign. Marked with a combination of blazes and letters sometimes the blazed which are red are on the backside of the post. At letter J you get to hike down a very over grown path. Due to my aversion of rattlesnake venom I decided to turn back at this point.
It wasn't a bad trail. Not much to see though. We took the blue trail to Katie's Landing, and couldn't find where the trail continued. We walked all around the area, but couldn't find the next trailhead. Maybe we aren't great explorers, but we tried. Oh well. Probably won't visit here again.
This section of the Florida Trail snakes through Seminole State Forest west of the Wekiva River and gives you a view of a pristine piece of Central Florida wilderness. The land is covered by pine flatwoods and scrub, with scattered natural springs feeding meandering creeks and streams, some wide enough for a kayak.
We hiked the Florida Trail segment that runs through Seminole SF as a there-and-back day hike (around 15.2 miles, from Cassia to Bear Pond and back). Despite its length, this was a very pleasant and relaxing hike through a nice mix of habitat types--primarily pine flatwoods, with one long stretch through palmetto scrub and brief traipses through hardwood hammocks and past lakes, marshes and creeks. There's a good map at OutInTheBoonies.com (http://www.outintheboonies.com/Seminole_Forest/topo_map.jpg) and a good trail description at FloridaHikes.com (http://floridahikes.com/florida-trail-seminole-state-forest). The trail is mostly well-blazed and easy to follow, with a couple turns in the northern half that are easy to overshoot as the path briefly merges onto old forest roads then veers off again--not a big deal, just backtrack a bit if you haven't seen a blaze recently. The section through palmetto scrub is completely exposed, so be sure to take plenty of water if it's a hot sunny day, or a raincoat if it's drizzly (on the bright side, you'll almost certainly see several scrub jays out there). Blackwater Creek, about midway between the two trailheads, makes a lovely picnic spot; the Boy Scout shelter (near the Bear Pond end), would be a decent stop too--nothing much to look at, but it does offer protection from the elements and a comfortable place to sit.
Well if you like hiking in sand this ones for you.. Hot hot.. Hardly any tree cover.. Plus you hike near the sewer plant the smell is horrible.. The little park which charges walkers 2 dollars to enter is very nice.. It's across the road from the trail.. River is beautiful.. Nice place to chill.. All in all.. Wouldn't recommend nor will we return to this trail..
I led a small group hike beginning at the Cassia trail head last Saturday (8/21). The trails were in good shape and other than crossing the path of a few horseback riders we had the trail to ourselves. August really is NOT the time for serious hiking in Florida: I sweated through two tees on the trail. We did approx. 6.3 miles. No wildlife due to our later start and the opressive humidity. I would recommend this trail without amy reservations. The habitat is typical Florida scrub pine and oak eith a sampling of grass prairie. If you go be sure to pick up the literature on the Florida Trailwalkers program managed by the state's Division of Forestry.